The Health Benefits of Acai Berries

The Health Benefits of Acai BerriesLike many people these days, you’ve seen ads for acai berries. Touted as one of the new “Super Foods” you may have quickly dismissed this as marketing hype. Many people do, but let’s take a minute and really see what are the health benefits of taking acai, whether as juice, berries, powder, capsules or any other form you can find on the market.

First of all, why can’t acai berries be found at your local grocery store? What do they even look like? Acai berries are grown in Central and South America, but are popular primarily in Brazil. They are the fruit of a certain kind of palm tree, the acai palm. They look a little like grapes, but are very dark purple in color, almost black. Unlike grapes, the seed takes up about 80% of the fruit or berry, leaving about 20% pulp that can be turned into juice. The seeds are often ground up and used to create their own food products, separate from acai juice, because they are high in natural fats. This leads to the reason they are not available in grocery stores – the spoil too rapidly to be distributed beyond their local markets. So unless you live in or close to Central or South America, you’re out of luck.

So, what are the health benefits of taking acai? It depends on who you listen to. Some people say it will cure everything that ails you, from increasing your overall health and energy, improve your heart functions, reduce stress, improve sleep, reduce cancer risks, improve sexual performance and so on. Others say it does nothing other than taste good. The truth is somewhere in between.

One of the most common claims is that of acai berries as an anti-oxidant. Studies have shown the acai berry to have powerful anti-oxidant capabilities. What does that mean? It means acai berries can neutralize the effects that “free radicals” have on the body. Free radicals are one of the primary causes of aging. The reduction of free radicals in the body is believed to reduce signs of aging and problems associated with aging, including cancer.

As mentioned earlier, acai berries are high in natural fats, specifically the Omega-9 fatty acid and polyunsaturated fats. These both play a part in lowering cholesterol and keeping it low. This greatly improves a person’s heart function and staves off heart disease. Additionally, some studies have shown that increased intake of these two fats can help reduce the risk of cancer.

One of the most controversial acai claims is that taking acai can improve your weight-loss efforts. Is it true? Well, yes and no. Will taking any kind of acai supplement cause your unwanted pounds to magically disappear? No. Nobody believes that, and those who do are fooling themselves. However, anti-oxidants are thought to play a large role in reducing weight. The more you take, the more benefits you will have from them. Additionally, acai berries contain dietary fiber and a little protein. All these things combined will help you in your weight loss journey. Are they a magic bullet, a miracle cure? No, but they are an effect tool in a dieter’s weight loss toolbox.

A lot of hype has been built up around the acai berry and what are the health benefits of taking acai. As such, many have chosen to ignore the acai berry. This is unfortunate, because as we have shown, there are a number of health benefits of taking acai, whether in powder, capsule, or juice. Do your own research and decide for yourself if acai is right for you.


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